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Ronald

ratings
284
REVIEWS
23
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
2
HELPFUL VOTES
14

  • Edge of Eternity: The Century Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (661)
    Performance
    (592)
    Story
    (598)

    Throughout these books, Follett has followed the fortunes of five intertwined families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they make their way through the twentieth century. Now they come to one of the most tumultuous eras of all: the enormous social, political, and economic turmoil of the 1960s through the 1980s, from civil rights, assassinations, mass political movements and Vietnam to the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, presidential impeachment, revolution - and rock and roll.

    Elisa says: "Some good, some bad"
    "The end of an epic trilogy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Edge of Eternity again? Why?

    I would listen to parts of the book. I found the beginning two thirds the most interesting - Berlin, the start of the Cold War, machinations of the Soviet Empire through to the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam, Nixon, Watergate as the most interesting. Towards the end, I thought the story was rushed to conclusion - at least in comparison to the rest of the book and the first two novels.

    I gave 5 stars all around because the book was deeply satisfying on many levels. However, any book at 60 hours is bound to have some flaws. I thought the end was a bit on the abrupt side, and somewhat more sex scenes than really necessary (hey, who doesn't like a sex scene, but there were perhaps too many and too detailed at times).


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    So many to choose from, but George and Dmitri stood out.


    Have you listened to any of John Lee’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Lee is my favorite narrator, and did his usual fine job. However - what single person could have gotten the accents correct for Russians, Germans, Cubans, Brits and Americans (not to mention regional dialects)? However, he did a great job. This is one book, though, where multiple narrators could have been employed.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    At 60 hours, not possible. I personally enjoy long books - generally, the longer the better. The Century Trilogy certainly delivered.


    Any additional comments?

    The vast amount of territory covered in the Trilogy was amazing. I loved the personalized accountings of the great historical events over the past 130 or so years - really put history to life. However, I did read a number of the other reviews and I can say is some right wingers must have gotten their old main email chains going because so many reviewers were upset about criticisms of Reagan and Bush. I am not going to argue for any specific historical interpretation, but these reviewers all seemed surprised by the leftist (or more accurately, left-center POV). The should not have been surprised. The Kingsbridge Series has the same kinds of POVs - as did the first two novels (The German families were Social Democrats). I suspect these reviewers also took umbrage with the representation of Southern Racists at the end of Segregation.

    This is a novel - not a non-fiction history book. Read and enjoy for what it is. Don't let the crusty conservative reviews steer you away from a great effort. Plus, this book will makes you want to go and read up more on the fall of the Soviet Union and on the Soviet Union/Eastern Bloc histories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Coroner’s Lunch: The Dr. Siri Investigations, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Colin Cotterill
    • Narrated By Clive Chafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (497)
    Performance
    (417)
    Story
    (416)

    Laos, 1975: The Communist Pathet Lao has taken over this former French colony. Dr. Siri Paiboun, a 72-year-old Paris-trained doctor, is appointed national coroner. Although he has no training for the job, there is no one else: the rest of the educated class have fled.

    Jane says: "a splendid story"
    "Agatha Christie Set in 1970's Communist Laos"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Coroner’s Lunch again? Why?

    This was a very fun book. The characters are at once Laotian and British (or from the British Commonwealth). I mean the characters are mostly native Laotians, but the author is clearly not a native Laotian. Despite this duality, the novel is terrific in virtually every way. I even learned a lot of about everyday life for average Laotians in the 1970's.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Dr. Siri, of course.


    Have you listened to any of Clive Chafer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    The narrator was terrific. I cannot compare his performance to other books.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There were moments of deep pathos in this book. The dystopia of communist regimes becomes all too apparent throughout the book. However, there is a humor and humanity of the protagonists that cannot be erased.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hostage

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Robert Crais
    • Narrated By James Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (555)
    Performance
    (408)
    Story
    (406)

    Jeff Talley was a good husband, a fine father, and a frontline negotiator with LAPD's SWAT unit. But the high stress, unforgiving job took an irreparable toll on his psyche. After a despondent father murders his wife and son and takes his own life, Talley hits bottom. His marriage ends, he resigns from SWAT, and he struggles to escape from his former life. But Talley's pursuit of peaceful small-town life is about to change.

    David says: "Wonderful clarity of plot and character"
    "Solid Thriller with Some Interesting Plot Twists"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Hostage to be better than the print version?

    Have not read the print version


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I enjoyed a number of characters - the brothers and the main character weer all interesting.


    What about James Daniels’s performance did you like?

    Good narrator. Would definitely purchase audiobooks that he narrates.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No - too long.

    But this was hard to put down.


    Any additional comments?

    Fun book. Felt like two stories distilled into one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alien Honor: A Fenris Novel, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Vaughn Heppner
    • Narrated By Jeff Cummings
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (72)

    AD 2457. The longest space voyage in history has begun: 230 light years from a ravaged Earth to the pristine star system of New Eden - a beacon of hope following the Doom Star days. Aboard the ship are human colonizers, the Space Navy, fierce “Monitors” once bred to fight Cyborgs, and four “Specials” - humans with psionic abilities, capable of ripping holes in space to jump vast distances.

    Connor says: "Telepathics in Space!"
    "Satisfying Military Sci-Fi"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Alien Honor again? Why?

    Again? No. But I am ready to get Book 2 of the series.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The POV of the main character was interesting.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Firestar: Firestar Saga, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Michael Flynn
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    Overall
    (157)
    Performance
    (140)
    Story
    (138)

    It is the dawn of the 21st century, and America is in trouble. Public schools breed apathy and ignorance, and politics has become the art of the quick fix. There is one woman, though, who has both the vision and the money to leverage change. Mariesa Gorley van Huyten, heiress to one of the great American fortunes, is determined to bring America, and the rest of the world, back on track. She founds an educational subsidiary in hopes of raising a new, less cynical generation.

    Amazon Customer says: "Slow Rise"
    "In a word - Tedious"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Firestar? What did you like least?

    Trouble identifying with the main characters. Very long and boring.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Michael Flynn? Why or why not?

    I will inquire, but not at the top of my list right now.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Whiskey Rebels

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By David Liss
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (526)
    Performance
    (249)
    Story
    (249)

    At his most desperate moment, Ethan Saunders is recruited to find his ex-fiancée's missing husband. Meanwhile, Joan Maycott and her Revolutionary War veteran husband distill whiskey on the western Pennsylvania frontier. As their causes intertwine, Joan and Saunders - both patriots in their own way - find themselves on opposing sides of a daring scheme that will forever change their lives and their new country.

    Lulu says: "In My Top 10 - Maybe Top 5 At Audible"
    "A Great Historical Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Whiskey Rebels in three words, what would they be?

    This is a wonderful story of the late 1700s Philadelphia - after the American Revolution. Took me an hour or two of listening before I really started to enjoy the novel. The author wrote his characters with language of the time; it takes a bit of time to adapt my own listening style. Liss is a terrific author with a sly sense of humor. I am moving on to the Coffee Traders.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The two main characters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Delta

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs)
    • By Tony Park
    • Narrated By Mark Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (7)

    After a failed assassination attempt on the president of Zimbabwe, ex-soldier-turned-mercenary Sonja Kurtz is on the run and heads for her only place of refuge, the Okavango Delta in the heart of Botswana. She's looking to rekindle a romance with her childhood sweetheart, safari camp manager Sterling Smith, and desperately wants a fresh start and to leave her perilous warrior lifestyle behind. But Sonja discovers her beloved Delta is on the brink of destruction. Soon Sonja finds herself caught in a deadly web of intrigue....

    Michelle says: "Another great adventure from Tony Park"
    "Another Terrific Tony Park Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    In a heartbeat. Park brings Southern Africa alive with his storytelling.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Generally, the setting. Southern Africa seems so exotic, with wild animals and people from a wide mix of backgrounds.


    What about Mark Davis’s performance did you like?

    Perfect narrator for Tony Park


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No - too long. But very hard to put down.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blue Remembered Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (316)
    Performance
    (290)
    Story
    (289)

    Critically acclaimed author Alastair Reynolds holds a well-deserved place “among the leaders of the hard-science space opera renaissance." (Publishers Weekly). In Blue Remembered Earth, Geoffrey Akinya wants nothing more than to study the elephants of the Amboseli basin. But when his space-explorer grandmother dies, secrets come to light and Geoffrey is dispatched to the Moon to protect the family name - and prevent an impending catastrophe.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "A surprising and staisfying departure for Reynolds"
    "Not my favorite work by Reynolds"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would recommend other Alastar Reynolds books over this one. The Revelation Space series is terrific. In comparison, this was only so-so.


    Would you recommend Blue Remembered Earth to your friends? Why or why not?

    Same question - same answer.

    I would recommend other Alastar Reynolds books over this one. The Revelation Space series is terrific. In comparison, this was only so-so.


    What does Kobna Holdbrook-Smith bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Wonderful African accents. She was the most enjoyable part of this audiobook. I was not surprised to learn she is also an actor.


    Could you see Blue Remembered Earth being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    The book was good. However, Reynolds has a lot of books that are near great to great.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Words of Radiance: The Stormlight Archive, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (48 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7594)
    Performance
    (7207)
    Story
    (7226)

    In that first volume, we were introduced to the remarkable world of Roshar, a world both alien and magical, where gigantic hurricane-like storms scour the surface every few days and life has adapted accordingly. Roshar is shared by humans and the enigmatic, humanoid Parshendi, with whom they are at war.

    D says: "Book !!; no let down- "Words of Radieance" shines"
    "Great Book That Could Have Been 1/3 Shorter"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Words of Radiance the most enjoyable?

    Sanderson has writing style that is enjoyable, and Kramer/Reading are terrific narrators.


    What other book might you compare Words of Radiance to and why?

    One cannot help but think about the final few WOT volumes.


    What does Michael Kramer and Kate Reading bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    They are great narrators - an experienced team, and they deliver the goods.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    LOL - no. Book is around 48 hours.


    Any additional comments?

    My only complaint is that the story could have been tighter. The book was too long, and some better editing could have cut out 8 to 16 hours. I enjoy a good long book, but the filler stuff can be a bit irritating. This was the only reason I did not give the book 5 stars.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow's Edge: Night Angel Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Brent Weeks
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1868)
    Performance
    (1231)
    Story
    (1245)

    Kylar Stern has rejected the assassin's life. The Godking's successful coup has left Kylar's master, Durzo, and his best friend, Logan, dead. He is starting over---new city, new friends, and new profession. But when he learns that Logan might actually be alive and in hiding, Kylar is faced with an agonizing choice: will he give up the way of shadows forever and live in peace with his new family, or will he risk everything by taking on the ultimate hit?

    Brooke says: "Not his best, and NOT a great reader!"
    "Adult Fantasy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I would definitely recommend to adults. A lot of the material is just too intense and too dark for younger audiences. However, the story and characters are really interesting. There is a juxtaposition between the sexual naivety of the main two male characters and the hard edges of most everyone else


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Kylar and Logan - for different reasons. There possibly could have been a bit character development, but I am looking forward to Book 3. As for the characters, they are both coming of age. It is fascinating to watch these men come of age in such a rotten set of conditions.


    Have you listened to any of Paul Boehmer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes. I thought Boehmer's performance was terrific. Full marks.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was surprised by some touching moments late in the book - did not expect that emotional reaction. Some funny moments, but not meant to be an overly humerous book.


    Any additional comments?

    I definitely recommend this book for fans of sword and sorcery. This is one of the better series, on rough par with Joe Abercrombie or Patrick Rothfuss.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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